I flashed tuktuk drivers

-9 Sept 2015-
Siem Reap
I woke up today, determined to ride a bike to the National Museum. It’s less than 2km away from my hostel on a straight road with virtually no need of navigation. Boy, was I wrong. 
I rented a bike at my hostel for $2 and tried to get a hang of it in front of the hostel. Turns out my bicycle riding skills has regressed into nothingness. Don’t practice riding a bicycle on a busy Cambodian road after years of slacking- bad idea. I fell down a few times -almost got ran over once- but I was very determined to do it. I brushed the dirt off my pants and extended my leg over the bicycle again. I’ll try till I get it!

It wasn’t until the hostel lady tapped me on the shoulder and inconspicuously point down to my pants that I realized my thighs rubbing against the bicycle seat.

My thighs. Rubbing against the bicycle seat.

I looked down and saw a huge gaping hole at my crotch. I tore through the door with my face burning and hurriedly changed. The hostel lady was kind enough to refund the $2 for the bicycle and called me a tuktuk to the museum. I can still feel the amused smirks by the neighbourhood tuktuks as I got on the tuktuk. As I stared absent-mindedly on the way to the museum, it suddenly hit me: I flashed tuktuk drivers.

I relived the experience with every bit of embarrassment and started counting my losses. I would have to sneak in the hostel when I get back. Ninja tactics start playing in my head, one more ridiculous than the other. How can I show my face when most of the tuktuk drivers stationed at that particular stretch of street has seen my yellow boxers? How can I…

.. Oh! I’ve reached the museum. The museum looked every bit like a hotel lobby. Brightly lit with helpful and attentive staff, the whole experience proved to be a good distraction from my humiliating encounter. It was informative, with stories of the ancients and cultures retold within it’s hallowed walls. When I left the museum, I’m giddy with a new found appreciation to history. I went back to the hostel with an absent smile on my face, eager to explore Beng Mealea in the evening.

Most of the tuktuk drivers graced with the view of my boxers has already left for the day. The remaining ones smiled a friendly smile with a jerk of their head, hoping I could give them some business. I smiled shyly, fending off their invitation with slight wave and scoot to the shame-free environment of the hostel. Everyone was already sitting at the sofa, cooling themselves down after a morning under the sun.

I joined everyone on the couch and smiled a big smile. Looks like it’s a secret between the tuktuk drivers and me. 

March 20, 2016
April 19, 2016

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